Graduate Studies

Counseling - 2012-2013

Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements |Profile

Chairperson:  Rebecca Newgent
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Carrie Alexander-Albritton
Office: WIU-Quad Cities
Telephone: (309) 762-1876 Fax: (309) 762-6989
E-mail: cned@wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/counselored/
Location of Program Offering: Quad Cities only

Graduate Faculty
Professors

  • Rebecca Newgent, Ph.D., The University of Akron
  • Leslie W. O’Ryan, Ed.D., University of South Dakota

Associate Professor

  • Holly J. Nikels, Ph.D., University of South Dakota

Associate Graduate Faculty
Assistant Professor

  • Carrie Alexander-Allbriton, Ph.D., Idaho State University

Adjunct Faculty

  • Eldon Partridge, M.S.Ed., University of Illinois

  Program Description

The Department of Counselor Education offers a Master of Science in Education (M.S. Ed.) in Counseling at the WIU-QC campus. The department offers a unique blend of courses designed to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to become a competent counseling professional. Acceptable academic performance and experiential mastery are both required for successful completion of the program. Students may select either of two options: Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling.The Clinical Mental Health Counseling option prepares students for work as clinical mental health counselors in a variety of clinical settings including mental health centers, rehabilitation hospitals, recovery centers, private practice, university counseling centers, and employee assistance programs. The School Counseling option prepares students for work as elementary and/or secondary school counselors in public and private schools. The school counselor option within the Department of Counselor Education is the only program at Western Illinois University that prepares students for school counselor licensure.

The counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The School Counseling option is also accredited by the Illinois Educational Examiner Boards.

  Admission Requirements

A Departmental Selection Committee must recommend applicants for admission to the graduate program in the Department of Counselor Education. The Selection Committee requires references, transcripts, a screening interview, GRE scores (for applicants with a GPA below 2.75), and an essay. Applicants who are required to submit GRE scores must submit official general test scores (no more than five years old). Applicants seeking school counseling licensure for Illinois or Iowa should contact the Chairperson of the Department of Counselor Education for those requirements. Consideration for screening interviews will not take place until all required documents are received and approved by the deadline.

Fingerprint-based Illinois State Police and FBI criminal background investigations are required of admitted students. Students may be prohibited from completing field work if background investigations reveal certain criminal offenses, arrests, and/or convictions. It is important to be aware that some schools/agencies may have additional background investigations prior to acceptance at their field site. Please email the Department of Counselor Education at cned@wiu.edu for additional information.

Applicants must have completed a Bachelor's degree (undergraduate course work) in any field from a regionally accredited university.

Applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (includes all undergraduate work attempted at all institutions), or 3.25 for the last two years (60 semester hours) of undergraduate work, or a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (includes all graduate work attempted at all institutions) and a completed master’s degree from a regionally accredited university.

Applicants failing to meet the minimum undergraduate requirements may be considered for probationary admission with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75-2.99. Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA between 2.6-2.74 may request consideration for probationary admission – an additional portfolio and GRE scores must be submitted by the applicant at the time of application. The additional material included in the portfolio is intended to assist the Selection and Retention Committee’s evaluation of the applicant’s potential success as a graduate student in the Department of Counselor Education. All applicants admitted as probationary students must petition for full admission after completing nine graduate hours from any of the following courses: CN 540, CN 541, CN 545, CN 551, CN 554, or EIS 500.

Applicants not meeting the above requirements may request individual consideration based upon exceptional circumstances. Applicants must contact the Chairperson of the Department of Counselor Education prior to applying for further information.

Students will be required to complete a disclosure status (indicating whether or not a student’s criminal background status has changed) during the semester prior to enrollment in techniques of counseling, counseling techniques for children and adolescents, practicum, and internship. All students must register for the Comprehensive Examination while enrolled in practicum. The exam will be given during the student’s internship semester and a passing score is required to advance to degree completion. The Comprehensive Examination policy may be viewed at wiu.edu/counselored.

  Degree Requirements

The M.S. Ed. in Counseling degree has two options. Students may pursue a School Counseling option, which requires a minimum of 52 semester hours or may select a Clinical Mental Health Counseling option, which requires a minimum of 60 s.h. Students should consult with their adviser regarding proper sequencing of courses and specialization in either option.

The Department of Counselor Education limits the number of allowable semester hours of “C” grades or lower to 6 semester hours.

School Counseling Option

A grade of A or B is required for the following courses: CN 500, CN 547, CN 548, CN 581, CN 593, and CN 597.

I. Required Core Courses: 41 s.h.

EIS 500 Methods of Research (3)
CN 500 Introduction to Counseling Skills and Practice (3)
CN 519 Crisis and Trauma Counseling (3)
CN 540 Marriage, Family, and Relationship Counseling (3)
CN 541 Lifestyles and Career Development (3)
CN 542 Assessment Techniques in Counseling (3)
CN 545 Counseling Theories and Applications (3)
CN 547 Techniques of Counseling (3)
CN 552 Counseling/Helping in a Multicultural Society (3)
CN 554 Counseling Across the Lifespan (3)
CN 581 Group Counseling: Theories and Procedures (3)
CN 593 Practicum: Counseling (3)
CN 597 Internship (5)

II. Required Directed Electives: 11 s.h.

CN 544 Counseling Techniques for Children and Adolescents (3)
CN 546 Developing and Managing Comprehensive School Counseling Programs (2)
CN 548 Legal and Ethical Issues for Professionals in School Counseling (1)
CN 556 Developmental Counseling (3)
CN 602 Principles of Mental Health Diagnosis and Pathology for Practitioners in
School Settings (1)
Elective (1)

TOTAL PROGRAM: 52 s.h.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Option

A grade of A or B is required for the following courses: CN 500, CN 547, CN 549, CN 581, CN 593, CN 597, and CN 600.

I. Required Core Courses: 41 s.h.

EIS 500 Methods of Research (3)
CN 500 Introduction to Counseling Skills and Practice (3)
CN 519 Crisis and Trauma Counseling (3)
CN 540 Marriage, Family, and Relationship Counseling (3)
CN 541 Lifestyles and Career Development (3)
CN 542 Assessment Techniques in Counseling (3)
CN 545 Counseling Theories and Applications (3)
CN 547 Techniques of Counseling (3)
CN 552 Counseling/Helping in a Multicultural Society (3)
CN 554 Counseling Across the Lifespan (3)
CN 581 Group Counseling: Theories and Procedures (3)
CN 593 Practicum: Counseling (3)
CN 597 Internship (5)

II. Required Directed Electives: 19 s.h.

CN 520 Foundations and Professional Orientation to Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3)
CN 521 Standards of Care and Management in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3)
CN 522 Psychopharmacology in Counseling (1)
CN 549 Professional, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3)
CN 551 Counseling for Addictions (3)
CN 600 Diagnosis (3)
CN 604 Psychopathology (3)

TOTAL PROGRAM: 60 s.h.

  Course Descriptions

Counseling (CN)

433G Special Problems in Counseling. (1, repeatable for different titles) Designed to provide a group of students an opportunity for further professional growth and to apply problem-solving approaches in dealing with specific educational problems. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Permission of instruction.

500 Introduction to Counseling Skills and Practice. (3, repeatable to 6) Introduction to the psychological, sociological and educational reasons for and aspects of the helping relationship. This course combines theoretical knowledge of counseling with supervised practice in helping skills. Various counseling strategies will be presented through lecture, discussion, and audio/video presentations. The students will develop facilitative skills useful for human services professions. Grade of A or B required. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Counseling and permission of the Department Chairperson. Prerequistie/corequisite: CN 545.

519 Crisis and Trauma Counseling. (3) This course is designed to acquaint students with the special models, theories, and techniques of crisis intervention. Special attention is given to grief and trauma. Topics include prevention and intervention. Crisis management resources are explored in relation to grief, post traumatic stress, suicide, domestic violence and child abuse. Ethical, legal, and social issues related to crisis intervention will also be addressed. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Counseling.

520 Foundations and Professional Orientation to Clinical Mental Health Counseling. (3) Introduction to the profession of clinical mental health counseling: history, accreditation, licensure, credentialing, professional organizations, advocacy, counseling philosophy, and use of technology. Topics include roles, functions, professional identity, and scope of practice/standards of care unique to the field of clinical mental health counseling with specific attention given to the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics and professional competencies. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Counseling.

521 Standards of Care and Management in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. (3) Current trends in the counseling literature/research and strategies for counseling specific to clinical mental health are explored. Designed to provide an understanding of the range of mental health service delivery such as inpatient, outpatient, partial treatment, and aftercare/and the clinical mental health counseling services network. Particular attention is given to managed care, HIPAA, public policy, needs assessment, consultation, and prevention. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Counseling.

522 Psychopharmacology in Counseling. (1) Students will demonstrate knowledge of commonly prescribed Psychotropic medications including antipsychotic, antidepressant, anti-anxiety and sedative/hypnotic agents. Students will understand and have a basic knowledge of creating psychological evaluations using the mental status exam and psychosocial history when developing treatment plans. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Counseling.

533 Current Issues in Counseling. (1–3, repeatable under different titles) Designed to provide counselor education students and mental health practitioners an opportunity for further professional growth and in-depth exploration of special topics. Graded S/U.

540 Marriage, Family, and Relationship Counseling. (3) An introduction to basic concepts of family counseling and their application in school and agency settings.

541 Lifestyles and Career Development. (3) Assisting clientele in various settings with life's decisions; emphasis on development with respect to life roles; theories, procedures, materials, and informational resources related to lifestyle and career development counseling.

542 Assessment Techniques in Counseling. (3) Principles of measurement and assessment. The use of various assessment instruments, achievement, aptitude, intelligence, interests, and personality. Supervision in administering, scoring, and interpreting of individual evaluation methods.

544 Counseling Techniques for Children and Adolescents. (3) Counseling theories, skills, and materials appropriate for working with children and adolescents are explored. Children’s developmental stages, tasks, and needs relative to clinical practice are given specific attention. Play therapy techniques, adventure based counseling skills, and consultation information is included. Prerequisites: CN 500 and graduate standing in Counseling .

545 Counseling Theories and Applications. (3) This course will survey the major concepts, practices, and applications of contemporary therapeutic systems in counseling. Students will gain an overview of the divergent contemporary approaches to counseling.

546 Developing and Managing Comprehensive School Counseling Programs. (2) Procedures for planning, organizing, and evaluating a school counseling program. Principles of administration, staffing, and budgeting for the school counseling program will be studied. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Counseling or permission of the instructor.

547 Techniques of Counseling. (3, repeatable to 6) The development and mastery of basic counseling skills through a combination of didactic and experiential approaches. Video and audio tapes, role playing, simulation, and practice in procedures will be utilized. Graded A or B required for majors. Prerequisites: CN 500 with a grade of A or B; CN 545; CN 581 as a prerequisite or corequisite. Majors only.

548 Legal and Ethical Issues for Professionals in School Counseling. (1) A study of the complex problems of law and ethics as they influence the field of school counseling and the school counselor's role. Grade of A or B required for majors.

549 Professional, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. (3) This course provides an exploration of the legal, professional, and ethical dilemmas faced by professional counselors. Unique issues of professional identity will also be addressed. Familiarity with and application of the current American Counseling Association Code of Ethics as well as relevant state of Illinois and Iowa, and federal civil and criminal law will be demonstrated by students. Grade of A or B required for majors.

551 Counseling for Addictions. (3) Principles and practices of addiction prevention and counseling with special application to the functions of counselors.

552 Counseling/Helping in a Multicultural Society. (3) Didactic and experiential course to expand personal and professional relationship competencies in working with people in our contemporary pluralistic society. This course cannot be audited.

554 Counseling Across the Lifespan. (3) This course will address counseling theory in relation to issues pertinent to human development from a counseling and prevention perspective. It will focus on contemporary counseling approaches in addressing stages of human development, from normal and abnormal populations across the lifespan, stages of human development within a contextual and cultural perspective, and issues pertinent to human development.

556 Developmental Counseling. (3) A comprehensive developmental school counseling model will be presented. The model will be applicable for school counselors in public or private school settings, K-12. Prerequisites: CN 546 prerequisite or co-requisite, or approval of instructor. Majors only.

581 Group Counseling Theories and Procedures. (3) Didactic and experiential learning in group theory and practice. This course involves experience as a group participant to develop self-awareness, acceptance, and effective interpersonal skills. Grade of A or B required. Prerequisite or co-requisite: CN 500 and CN 545, lab fee required. Majors only.

593 Practicum: Counseling. (3, repeatable to 6) Supervised experience in counseling. Prerequisites: A GPA of 3.0 or higher in all counseling coursework; a grade of A or B in CN 581 and CN 547; additionally, for the clinical mental health option a grade of A or B in CN 549 and CN 600; additionally, for the school option a grade of A or B in CN 548 and CN 602.

597 Internship. (5, repeatable to 10) The student will be assigned to work under careful supervision at an approved internship site. The purpose of this 600 hour internship is to gain practical experience in applying the knowledge gained in didactic courses to his/her field of specialization. Graded A or B. Required to retake if grade of C or below. Prerequisite: A grade of A or B in CN 593.

599 Independent Study. (1–4, repeatable) An investigation of problems related to the student's major area. Ordinarily a substantial written and/or oral report will be required. Students will arrange the topic, procedures, and methods of reporting with the instructor. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Counseling and permission of the instructor.

600 Diagnosis. (3) This course examines the diagnosis of mental disorders employing the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). Principles and practices related to DSM diagnosis, etiology, assessment, treatment planning, interviewing, and interventions are emphasized. Grade of A or B required. Prerequisites: CN 500 and CN 545. Majors only.

601 Thesis. (3) Master's thesis in counseling. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Permission of the Department Chairperson.

602 Principles of Mental Health Diagnosis and Pathology for Practitioners in School Settings. (1) Evidence suggests an increase in mental pathologies among elementary and secondary school students. This one-hour course provides an overview of child and adolescent pathologies and diagnostic procedures and criteria. The course is designed to help school counselors and other school professionals identify mental disorders among students in order to assist them with their academic development and school adjustment. This course will provide an introduction to the general principles of diagnosis and assessment. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Counseling.

604 Psychopathology. (3) Course explores various aspects of counseling related to psychopathology. Abnormal and maladaptive behaviors are presented. Counseling interventions related to behavioral and emotional disorders, psychoses, and maladaptive behavior patterns are addressed. Grade of A or B required. Prerequisites: CN 500 and CN 545. Majors only.